2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2923.03. Complicity.

§ 2923.03. Complicity.

(A)  No person, acting with the kind of culpability required for the commission of an offense, shall do any of the following: 

(1) Solicit or procure another to commit the offense; 

(2) Aid or abet another in committing the offense; 

(3) Conspire with another to commit the offense in violation of section 2923.01 of the Revised Code; 

(4) Cause an innocent or irresponsible person to commit the offense. 

(B)  It is no defense to a charge under this section that no person with whom the accused was in complicity has been convicted as a principal offender. 

(C)  No person shall be convicted of complicity under this section unless an offense is actually committed, but a person may be convicted of complicity in an attempt to commit an offense in violation of section 2923.02 of the Revised Code. 

(D)  If an alleged accomplice of the defendant testifies against the defendant in a case in which the defendant is charged with complicity in the commission of or an attempt to commit an offense, an attempt to commit an offense, or an offense, the court, when it charges the jury, shall state substantially the following: 

"The testimony of an accomplice does not become inadmissible because of his complicity, moral turpitude, or self-interest, but the admitted or claimed complicity of a witness may affect his credibility and make his testimony subject to grave suspicion, and require that it be weighed with great caution. 

It is for you, as jurors, in the light of all the facts presented to you from the witness stand, to evaluate such testimony and to determine its quality and worth or its lack of quality and worth." 

(E)  It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that, prior to the commission of or attempt to commit the offense, the actor terminated his complicity, under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of his criminal purpose. 

(F)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of complicity in the commission of an offense, and shall be prosecuted and punished as if he were a principal offender. A charge of complicity may be stated in terms of this section, or in terms of the principal offense. 

HISTORY: 134 v H 511 (Eff 1-1-74); 141 v H 338. Eff 9-17-86.

Not analogous to former RC § 2923.03 (GC § 12819-3; 115 v 189; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53; 129 v 420), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.


19xx Committee Report or Comment.

1974 Committee Comment to H 511

In essence, this section codifies existing case law with respect to "aiding and abetting." Under the section, an accomplice is one who solicits, procures, or conspires with another to commit an offense, aids or abets its commission, or causes an innocent or irresponsible person to commit the offense. 

It is unnecessary that the principal offender be convicted before an accomplice can be convicted. An offense must actually be committed, however, before a person may be convicted as an accomplice. The single exception to this rule permits conviction as an accomplice in an attempt to commit an offense. A person accused of complicity may defend on the ground that prior to an attempt or the commission of the offense, he quit his part in it, under circumstances showing that he completely and voluntarily gave up his criminal purpose. 

Accomplices are liable to prosecution and punishment as principal offenders. For example, an accomplice to aggravated murder is liable to the death penalty the same as the actual murderer. 

In charging complicity, the accused may be charged specifically as an accomplice under this section, or he may be charged simple as a joint offender in the offense committed. 

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